Colts Neck To Consider Whiskey & Gin Distillery Proposal

first_imgBy Joseph SapiaCOLTS NECK – The township Zoning Board is to hear a proposal to run a craft-style alcohol distillery in a non-conforming business zone on Route 34, near Delicious Orchards.GK Distilling Inc., owned by township resident Geoff Karch, is to appear before the board on Thursday, Feb. 18.GK Distilling is the contract-purchaser of the 2.71-acre property from Steven Garrett. Of the total property, about one acre would be used for the distillery, while the remaining acreage would include the relocated single-family house now on the property, a barn and detached garage.The property sits on Route 34 South, with Delicious Orchards and a medical office to the north, the Brandywine assisted-living facility to the west and south, and the state road to the east.The distillery would be housed in a new 4,500-square-foot building that would look like a barn or stable – divided into 900 square feet for a tasting room, with the remaining 3,600 feet for the distilling and storage, according to paperwork filed with the township. The new building would sit at about the site of the current house.GK Distilling would operate under state law and distill corn, rye, barley and wheat to create up to 20,000 gallons of whiskey or gin per year for wholesale and retail use. To be considered a New Jersey distilled beverage, it must either grow or buy locally 51 percent of its raw material.Those wishing to buy the product at retail to take offsite would be limited to five liters per person, only in connection with a tour of the operation. Distillery visitors would be allowed to consume a maximum of three one-ounce samples per person per day.The distillery, which would have 12 parking spaces, said it would expect no more than seven to 10 visitors per hour.Proposed business hours would be Wednesday, noon to 6 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 9 p.m.; Friday, noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The business would be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.There would be no food sales, but it may sell retail items such as T-shirts and hats.The distillery would employ four workers: the owner, master distiller, salesperson and an assistant worker. There would be about three truck deliveries or shipments per week.The operation would not be considered a regional attraction or produce a high volume of traffic, according to Timothy Anfuso, the township planner. This would fit the nature of a craft business, rather than a full commercial operation.The variance is needed because the B-1 zone, a zone for household-oriented businesses, does not include craft distilleries and because the house would be a non-conforming use.Aside from the variance, GK Distilling would still need local approval for a minor subdivision and both preliminary and final major site plan approval.The zoning board meeting is Thursday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 124 Cedar Drive.last_img

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